I’ve been doing a lot of editing lately. It’s a bittersweet exercise. Here is a section that I removed from the manuscript. You know, like a deleted scene from a Jackass movie, or something.
Hello Tom Jones Concert
Liv was still a fixture in my house. We had developed a certain rhythm, like old married couples tend to do. Then, seemingly out of no where, I received an automated email about upcoming musical events advising that the circus was coming to town. Well, a circus of sorts. Old school circus. Exactly how old, I unquestionably underestimated. Liv and I bollixed seeing the iconoclastic Tom Jones when in Las Vegas several years prior. We managed to bumble our way to the randomly-located Liberace museum when in the self-proclaimed Entertainment Capital of the World but inconceivably missed Tom Jones. Thus, when tickets went on sale for Mr. Jones in Tulsa, Liv and I jumped at the opportunity, much to the mocking of anyone we told.
So one fateful Sunday night in June, we experienced Tom Jones. It took a while for the aged roadies to set up the stage for Tom, so Liv and I got a good ogling of the crowd as we eagerly awaited our idol’s arrival on stage. I didn’t think we had been segregating ourselves into hanging out with only the beautiful people, but the crowd that night made us feel as if we had. Liv kept lamenting that the concert promoters should have set up a free cholesterol check mobile out front. Half the crowd looked as if it would topple over from their extra weight as they ambled down the aisle to their far too confining seats. There was a dearth of hair care products in use and virtually everyone except Liv and I had on some form of glitter, sequin-encrusted tog or something shiny on their person. And this event pre-dated the advent of “glitter bombs”. This concert was much more likely to be populated with Tea Partiers than the LGBT. Even Tom donned sparkly chartreuse scales beneath the sheer black silk top he wore under his black silk jacket which he whipped around teasingly until he finally took it off.
People Watching at a Tom Jones Concert
A scary hairy-necked Festus from Gun Smoke-looking guy sat behind us. We immediately discovered Festus was really in cahoots with the very large women sitting in front of us. Thus, we were in a greasy sandwich between them and unfortunately right in their conversational line of fire. I kept getting hit by non-witty word metal fragments and grammatically incorrect sentence structure grenades. The one woman who was wearing her fanciest, least laundered bright tie-dye t-shirt, was suffering from what we surmised to be contagious tuberculosis. She coughed and sputtered ala Doc Holiday as she held the soggy remnants of a used Kleenex up to her nose. I have never wished I had a face mask tucked into my purse like some extra gum so badly than that. She lifted the tissue away from her face once and we discovered, much to our horror, that she had stuffed toilet tissue pellets up her nose. She later stuffed ear plugs into her ears. Thankfully, the ear pellets weren’t the same as her nose pellets. The ear plugs were the big orange industrial type, as if she were still on shift in the glass manufacturing plant. Only Tom showed up at work during her shift to play an impromptu show so she might as well take a listen. If she had adhered eye patches, she could have obliterated the entire concert experience altogether. She may as well have just hung out on a bus station bench all night not listening to a boom box.
The large gal next to the Kleenex Pellet Gal was clearly unhappy with the seating arrangements and squirmed around in her seat (which in fairness, probably felt more like a restraining stool for her large frame). Fatigued from holding her full can of brew, she rested the Bud Light Tall Boy on her boobs, like you’d put your beer on a shelf, in this case, a boob shelf, for the second half the show. Liv aptly pointed out that just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.
Down the aisle to the right of us were two haggard retired waitresses, perhaps forty-five years old but looking every bit of sixty-five. Unrelenting sun exposure, daily fried food exposure and a fierce smoking habit acquired before they could vote republican had taken its toll. Dark hair and two full inches of light grey roots. Each wore what appeared to be every piece of sequined finery they could find in their closets. Imagine the rebuffed older guest/lover from the movie “Dirty Dancing”. They swayed and danced the length of the concert, always on the verge of falling over. Who needs Tom Jones when you can pay seventy-five bucks to soak up such priceless nuggets of mid-west Americana? I’m confident Tom was every bit as good in Tulsa as he was in Las Vegas, even if it never occurred to me to throw my panties at him on stage. What can I say? He’s still got it.